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hociel thomas

Hociel Thomas & Lillie Delk Christian

Hociel Thomas & Lillie Delk Christian – 1925-1928

Document – DOCD-5448
Hociel Thomas (1925-1926) gamblers dream – Sunshine baby – Adam and Eve had the blues – Put it where I can get it – Wash woman blues – Ive stopped my man – Deep water blues – Gwan I told you – Listen to ma – Lonesome hours - Lillie Delk Christian (1926-1928) Lonesome and sorry – Baby o mine (take a) – Baby omine (take b) – It all depends on you – Aint she sweet – My blue heaven – Whos wonderful! Whos marvellous? Miss Annabelle Lee – Youre a real sweetheart – Too busy! – Was it a dream? (waltz) – Last night I dreamed you kissed me – I cant give you anything but love – Sweethearts on parade – Baby – I must have that man

Lillie Delk Christian Hociel Thomas

There’s a clear contrast in styles and quality between Thomas and Christian. Both tried (and sometimes succeeded) to create a hybrid of jazz-blues-pop, and both have benefited from the presence of Louis Armstrong’s cornet. The comparison ends here.
Hociel Thomas hailed from a family of musicians. Her father was a renowned pianist, and her aunt was none other than Sippie Wallace. Unfortunately, Thomas often sings in a key where she isn’t at ease, which results in her sounding tired and not very engaged and even top-notch musicians like Armstrong can’t transform more than average material into gold.
Lillie Delk Christian is more interesting vocally, and her material is far superior (I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Ain’t She Sweet, I Must Have That Man). This probably explains why the band gives a better performance. Noone (clarinet) and St Cyr (guitar) enliven the December 12 session featuring My Blue Heaven and Miss Annabelle Lee with gutsy accompaniment and fine solos. Armstrong appears six months later for the June 26, 1928 session. This session features the best, Too Busy, a bouncing number with Armstrong scatting, and the worst of Christian, Was It A Dream, a waltz that doesn’t allow the Hot Four to express themselves.
The last recordings lack a bit of swing in the vocals but are saved by a good rendition of I Must Have That Man.
This selection is an excellent addition to anyone interested in Satchmo’s early years and work as a backup band. Despite some flaws and, Lillie Delk Christian’s sides have a certain charm and are appealing enough for a curious listener and anyone who digs Annette Hanshaw with whom she shares a common repertoire and style.

Find it here.

Note: two more Christian tunes (Sweet georgia Brown and Sweet Man) can be found on Vocal Blues & Jazz – Remaining Titles Vol. 3: (1921-1928)

Fred “Virgil” Turgis